Broc­coli is in sea­son and cheaper in stores, giv­ing you a great ex­cuse to ex­per­i­ment with the veg­etable. Joe Yo­nan and El­lie Kriger share their favourite recipes

The Star Early Edition - - FOOD VERVE -

Here’s a start­ing point for the din­ner­time bowl strat­egy: combine a cooked grain, plant pro­tein, sauce, sea­sonal veg­eta­bles and top­ping. This vari­a­tion is based on tofu, roasted with broc­coli and a tart, spicy dress­ing.

Adapted from The First Mess Cook­book: Vi­brant Plant-Based Recipes to Eat Well Through the Sea­sons,” by Laura Wright. Serves 4 400g block ex­tra-firm tofu 2 tea­spoons freshly grated lime zest plus 2 ta­ble­spoons lime juice (from 1 lime), or more juice as needed 2 ta­ble­spoons grape­seed or other neu­tral oil, or more

as needed 1/2 tea­spoon gran­u­lated gar­lic (gar­lic pow­der) 1/2 tea­spoon crushed red pep­per flakes 1/2 tea­spoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed 1/4 tea­spoon freshly ground black pep­per About 170g broc­coli flo­rets (about (3 cups) 1/4 cup lightly packed chopped fresh basil leaves,

plus a few small whole leaves, for gar­nish Wa­ter (op­tional) 2 cups cooked brown rice, warmed 1/2 cup fresh sun­flower sprouts (may sub­sti­tute

an­other sprout of your choice) 1/4 cup raw, hulled, un­salted sun­flower seeds,

toasted

Pre­heat the oven to 200ºC. Line a bak­ing sheet with parch­ment pa­per.

Drain the tofu of its pack­ing liq­uid and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Cut the tofu into 2.5cm cubes.

Whisk to­gether the lime zest and juice, oil, gar­lic pow­der, crushed red pep­per flakes, salt and pep­per in a medium bowl.

Taste and add more salt, if needed. Gen­tly toss the tofu in the dress­ing. Trans­fer the coated tofu cubes to the bak­ing sheet, gen­tly shak­ing off as much of the mari­nade as pos­si­ble back into the bowl.

Roast for 15 min­utes, un­til the tofu is lightly browned on the bot­tom.

Re­move from the oven and gen­tly flip the cubes over. Toss the broc­coli flo­rets in the dress­ing/mari­nade, then ar­range them on the same the bak­ing sheet with the tofu.

Roast for 10 to 15 min­utes, un­til all the edges are lightly browned. Taste, and sprin­kle with a lit­tle salt, as needed.

Whisk the chopped basil into the re­main­ing mari­nade to form a dress­ing. If it is too thick, add a lit­tle wa­ter, more lime juice and/or more oil to thin it out.

Serve the roasted tofu and broc­coli hot over bowls of brown rice. Add the sprouts, toasted sun­flower seeds and driz­zles of the basil-flecked dress­ing.

Gar­nish with basil leaves if de­sired. Adapted from The Per­fect Blend, by Tess Mas­ters Serves 6-8 1 ta­ble­spoon ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil 1 medium yel­low onion, coarsely

chopped (1 cup) 2 cloves gar­lic, minced 3/4 tea­spoon sea salt, plus more as

needed 3 cups home-made or no-salt-added

veg­etable broth Two 410g cans of no-salt-added diced

toma­toes, plus their juices 1 1/2 ta­ble­spoons peeled, minced

fresh gin­ger root 1/4 tea­spoon crushed red pep­per

flakes 680g sweet pota­toes, scrubbed and

cut into 2.5cm chunks (4 cups) 230g broc­coli flo­rets, chopped (3 cups) 115g (1 large bunch) Swiss chard, stalks re­moved, leaves cut into rib­bons (4 cups) 1/3 cup al­mond but­ter 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped co­rian­der, plus small sprigs for op­tional gar­nish THIS soup is a dream come true – if like me you dream about things like soup.

It has all the at­tributes that make a warm bowl of broc­coli ched­dar soup a com­fort-food clas­sic: a rich, vel­vety tex­ture; a belly fill­ing qual­ity that oozes melted cheese; and a home-style, un­fussy prepa­ra­tion with sim­ple, every­day in­gre­di­ents. Serves 4 2 ta­ble­spoons olive oil 1 medium onion, diced 1 large head broc­coli, flo­rets and ten­der part of stems, chopped (about 6 cups) 3 cups no salt-added chicken or

veg­etable broth 1 cup canned, can­nellini beans, rinsed

and drained 1/2 cup low-fat milk 1 cup shred­ded ex­tra-sharp ched­dar

cheese (about 85g) 1 tea­spoon pow­dered mus­tard 1/2 tea­spoon salt, plus more as needed Flesh of 1 medium av­o­cado, cut into

thin slices, for gar­nish 1/2 cup sliced raw al­monds, for

gar­nish Pour the oil into a large pot

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Once the oil is shim­mer­ing, stir over medium heat.

Once the oil shim­mers, add the onion, gar­lic and 1/4 tea­spoon of the salt. Cook, stir­ring fre­quently, un­til the onion is soft, or 5 min­utes.

Stir in the stock, toma­toes and their juices, the gin­ger, crushed red pep­per flakes and sweet pota­toes. In­crease the heat to high; once the mix­ture comes to a boil, re­duce the heat to medium, so the liq­uid is bub­bling gen­tly.

Add the re­main­ing 1/2 tea­spoon of salt and cook the stew un­cov­ered, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally un­til the sweet pota­toes are just fork-ten­der, about 15 min­utes.

Add the broc­coli and cook for 5 min­utes, then stir in the chard and al­mond but­ter. Cook just un­til the chard is wilted, 5 min­utes. The stew should be creamy. Stir in the chopped co­rian­der, then taste and add more salt as needed. To serve, di­vide among bowls. Top with av­o­cado slices, al­monds and co­rian­der sprigs, if de­sired. in the onion and cook for about four min­utes un­til ten­der but not browned.

Add broc­coli, broth and beans; in­crease the heat to high and bring to a boil, then re­duce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for about 15 min­utes, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally.

Let the soup cool for 15 min­utes, then purée it in a blender in three batches, un­til smooth. Wipe out the saucepan as needed.

Re­turn the blended soup to the saucepan over medium heat.

Once the soup is bub­bling at the edges, re­duce the heat to low.

Stir in the milk, three quar­ters of the cup of the cheese, the pow­dered mus­tard and half tea­spoon of salt. Cook un­til just warmed through.

Taste and add more salt as needed. Di­vide among in­di­vid­ual bowls or deep mugs and gar­nish with por­tions us­ing the re­main­ing quar­ter cup of cheese.

Serve hot.

PIC­TURES: Go­ran Kosanovic / Deb Lindsey /The Wash­ing­ton Post

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